He boarded Titanic with his mother, Winnie, and brother, Neville, in Southampton. His purpose for sailing on Titanic was to join his father in Brooklyn, New York. His mother woke him when Titanic hit the iceberg. He jumped out of bed to say, "What's the matter Mummy?" She quickly told him, woke his brother, and got them dressed.
They reached the deck around 1:30 AM, and got on Emergency Lifeboat 2. Of a group he was in, there were about eight boys, and only two survived. The other, Frankie Goldsmith, was also nine-years-old when the Titanic sank. Willie became a professional musician, married, had two children, and died on December 25th, 1957, aged 55.